At Love Your Smile in Kelowna, new parents are sometimes surprised by our recommendations on infant oral care. They should begin brushing their baby’s teeth as soon as the first teeth emerge. After all, brand-new teeth are just as vulnerable to decay as older teeth.
Parents should use a warm damp cloth and a smidgen of toothpaste (about the size of a grain of rice) to wipe each tooth. As more teeth come in, it becomes more critical for the teeth to be brushed after each meal, or at least twice a day.
The selection of a toothbrush is important in order to make brushing time as pleasant as possible. A soft-bristled brush is best. Infant and toddler-sized toothbrushes with a small head of bristles are useful. Also, there are circle and triangular-shaped brushes that allow your toddler to walk around with their brush with less chance of injury in case of a fall.
If your child can’t tolerate the taste of toothpaste, it’s okay to brush without it for a while. The goal is to remove food debris that will create bacteria followed by plaque and then cavities.
When two teeth touch, it’s time to floss. Flossing is vital to make sure no food is lodged between the teeth. Proper flossing requires fine motor skills which most kids don’t develop before age six or seven. Parents need to assist with flossing until they are sure their child can do it effectively.
Until the child is old enough to properly brush his or her teeth, they should receive adult supervision and guidance. Instilling the proper brushing and flossing procedures will reap lifelong benefits. While it may seem that supervising them is time-consuming, remember that it’s creating a daily habit that will guard their health. Also, dental expenses related to poor oral hygiene will be avoided.
Your child’s first dental visit should be within six months of the first tooth appearing and no later than their first birthday. At Love Your Smile in Kelowna we offer complete children’s dentistry, and advocate preventative dentistry. Call to schedule an appointment for your youngster today!
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